Working from home: Dream or Nightmare? 10 Tips to stay sane! (10-15minutes read)
Mis à jour : 11 mai 2020
Hey everyone! I hope you are all well and safe :) By this crazy time, most of us have to work from home. For those of you who are usually required to be in the office and not allowed to work from home, this might sound like something amazing! THE DREAM! I bet your reaction was :
It is BUT be careful dear Padawan, working from home is NOT a “snow day”, and it is a very sloppy slide if you are not prepared, it can become a proper nightmare. Trust me! It is so easy to lose track of time, to be distracted, and at the end of the day to not be efficient in your work.
Don’t you worry, Sophia has your back!
So here are my tips to stay sane while working from home:
Tips to Stay Sane While Working from Home
TIP 1: START YOUR DAY ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Yes, it is fundamental that you start your day on the right foot. And by that, I mean DO NOT GO STRAIGHT TO YOUR LAPTOP WHEN YOU WAKE UP. Instead, wake up at the time you usually do to go to work, do your usual “beauty” routine, have an excellent breakfast, and take some fresh air if possible (even if it is just opening your window). You will have more time to do this, no stress to commute to work. So there is literally NO reason for you to start your day wrong. TIP 2: DON'T STAY IN YOUR PYJAMA / “DRESS FOR SUCCESS”. OK, I have to admit, this is for me the tip I sometimes struggle to follow, but well, I force myself to do it. I made this mistake on my very first WFH day, last year. Bad, bad idea. You may wonder why? Well, let’s just say that my unicorn onesie makes me feel very chill, relaxed, and sleepy. Not what you want when you have to work, isn’t it? It was impossible for me to focus and to feel professional in this attire. I am not saying that you should wear your suit at home; I am not doing that either. My point is, don’t wear your pajamas and “dress for success”. Put something on which is comfortable and professional - like something you would wear on a casual Friday for example. The way you dress will put you in the right professional mindset. For your information, and to be completely transparent with you, I still allow myself to wear my crazy comfy pajamas when I am focusing my day on writing articles. So guess what I am wearing today? Haha
TIP 3: HAVE A DESIGNATED WORKING SPACE
I know that not everyone has the chance to have a home office space. I have asked my friends who don’t, how they do and what tips they have for you :) They choose the most convenient spot for them, for example, the kitchen table, and make it a workspace with everything they need. Then when lunch comes, they eat in their living room to not mess up with their set up.
If you have a desk that looks like this:
Maybe it is time to tidy it up a little bit? Let’s say: Like this?
(DISCLAIMER: I haven’t tried this technique, so I suggest you do your search before doing it this way… I will not be liable for any damages occurred haha) TIP 4: IF YOU ARE NOT LIVING ALONE, SET BOUNDARIES WITH YOUR LOVED ONES. "-Ohhhhh you are working from home! This is so cool. We can do all the things in the house that we were supposed to do! -Well actually no, I am WORKING so I am on the clock here and need to get things done. But I would love to do all this after 6 pm, what do you think? " Yes, you need to set up the boundaries; otherwise, it will be hard for you to focus.
I remember, when I was a kid, and my parents were doing some paperwork, it was so tempting to go and ask them to play with my siblings and I. Looking at it now, my parents were so smooth …. Before working, they reunited everyone in the living room and gave us a speech in those lines : “We are going to work now for 2h - showing us the clock and telling us until when- so we will ask you to be responsible, entertain yourself and let us focus on these essential things. We really want to play with you, but we are your parents, and we have the responsibility to make sure that we can offer you the best life possible by doing our work properly. We can play together when we are finished with our work, OK?”. I am the firstborn, and I felt like it was my duty to make sure that my siblings were following my parent’s request. So… In order to prevent this (so cute though): I was doing that with my siblings: TIP 5 : SCREEN BREAK It is very easy to lose track of time while working from home. But it is vital to take some breaks during your day. So why not schedule your breaks on your calendar (at first, then it will become a habit)? Just remember one thing: NO COMPUTER during your breaks PLEASE! Just go grab something to drink, have some fresh air, do a little bit of stretching... Trust me, your mental health will thank you! You don’t want to end up like Penny below? Do you?
When I am not in meetings or phone calls, I use the Pomodoro technique: 25 minutes highly focusing then 5 minutes break (especially helpful for tasks you are not enjoying that much but needs to be done.) I do that 4 times then I take a 15 minutes break. During your lunchtime - do not work. Enjoy your food and relax, take a power nap if needed. Do everything you want but no screen.
TIP 6: PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE:
Before going to bed, I reflect on my day and think about everything I need to get done. I write everything down (work, workout, cleaning, calls etc). It is helpful because, in the morning, you don’t want to waste time by trying to schedule your day. Make this a routine. It will make your WFH experience so much easier.
TIP 7: KEEP SOCIALIZING WITH YOUR COWORKERS ... VIRTUALLY
The hardest part when I had to work from home for more than a month was the lack of social interaction. Tea breaks with colleagues and laughing. You will start to miss all those little things after a while. We live in a digital world, so why not use the tools we have to keep those social interactions alive? Take some “virtual coffee break” using video conference calls, have a nice chat with your colleagues ...
TIP 8: TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS... NO NETFLIX AND WORK SORRY!
It is sooooo easy to get unfocused while working from home, distraction is usually higher at home (well ….. Unless you work with me, then it might be a little bit less distracting at home? haha ). We all think that we can multi-task - yes we can multi-task in some way. But trust me, if you try to multi-task WORK with NETFLIX … NETFLIX will win. Common now, let’s be honest between us, Netflix knows its job - to distract and entertain us. But, if you are like me and can’t work with no noise at all, I recommend you to listen to some music - My favourite since I was very young is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOk8Tm815lE
TIP 9: MOVE YOUR BODY
In France we have a saying “Bien dans son corps, bien dans sa tête” which will translates to “feeling good in your body, feeling good in your mind”. It couldn’t be more accurate, especially now, if you are in quarantine. You can find plenty of home workouts on youtube, yoga classes etc.… Whatever you like you can find it on the internet. https://lmgtfy.com/?q=home+workout+tutorial Now that my family is in quarantine in France and I am over here in London, we do a video chat after work and we dance together. It is so much fun and helps us get through this time together as a family. #goodvibesonly
TIP 10: BE GRATEFUL
I know we are living through some very difficult times … now it's time to be more grateful than ever. Take the possibility to work from home as a chance. Because not everyone has the luxury to do it. We are all in this together, so let's help each other out and spread positivity around us as much as we possibly can :) So... WFH, dream or nightmare? It all depends on you : ) Remember, you can find the positivity in everything, it is all about mindset. (Here we go the last song of the day for you my dear Padawan! AND IT IS A SING-ALONG VERSION https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrdEMERq8MA )
What are your tips to be efficient while WFH? I am super curious to know!